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Understand Plastic Prototyping Lead time and Process

plastic prototyping

Characteristics of plastic parts prototyping

The globalization of the economy has created in all industrial sectors a growing need for rapid response to market demands.

One of the most decisive technologies in the radical change of functioning of companies in the face of these new challenges was the introduction of CAD / CAM systems and 3D CAD modeling capabilities. More recently, information technologies rapid prototyping (PR) and rapid tool making (FRF) reinforced this ability to significantly reduce time to market.

Illustrative photo Making prototypes

A large number of parts and products are manufactured from rapid injection plastic. This important raw material is chosen to manufacture from household items to car parts. To adapt plastic parts to all shapes, sizes and geometries necessary for this wide variety of parts, different plastic prototype molds are used and to arrive at the final product perfectly, it is also possible to make prototypes.

Importance of making prototypes

To manufacture more complex products, studies are needed, which serve to detail the development, production and design desired. And one of the tasks that are part of this process is making prototypes. The prototypes are made in real size and are used for testing and planning.

The making of prototypes is also done to avoid failures. Because in the prototypes the customer can see all the details such as color, shape and transparency, identical to the product to be manufactured and it is also possible to anticipate possible problems and defects that may occur to the parts in the future.

How to make a plastic prototype mold?

Several processes are part of making prototypes. Such as:

Defining the objectives of the prototype

Determining the materials and

Procedures will be used to manufacture them and plans are also developed, for the test protocol and for the analysis of the results.

The prototyping can be done manually, by machining, rapid prototyping and by utilizing molds and prototype silicone mold.

It is important to remember that, for the making of prototypes to be of high quality, it is necessary that all the machines and tools used in the production of the parts are of high technology. And that all the employees involved have high knowledge in this type of project.

Rapid Prototyping: A Fundamental Resource

We have long heard of rapid prototyping, especially if the topic of discussion is 3D printing injection molding.

It is no mystery that the advent of 3D printing has revolutionized fundamental aspects of design, prototyping and therefore even production.

But what is meant by rapid prototyping?

Well first of all let's try to understand why it is a step that we cannot avoid if we want to launch a new product on the market.

The concept is this:

"Producing things in series costs a lot, making things wrong in series costs too much"

Reduce risk with rapid prototyping

3D printing avoids costly design errors in scale production (injection printing) Checking an injection mold prototyping with a 3D printed prototype allows you to avoid changes that can have a huge financial impact on the project.

Choose the correct process

Let's think of a startup with a nice idea, for example you have in mind this new eyewear model that allows you to surf the internet by blinking ... You have the project, you have the software and the electronic components, but there is no frame that can contain everything in the right way.

The idea is a winning one, but you don't want to spend tens of thousands of euros for an industrial mold.

To begin with, you need to produce small quantities, to test, to see how it goes.

What alternatives do you have?

• A craftsman who makes the frame for you by hand

• A CNC machining that cuts a block of material into your object

• A 3D printer that prints the frame from scratch

These are the 3 that honestly come to my mind, the first is certainly fascinating but not very serious from a design point of view

The latter is a very good option if you need a well-finished prototype with mechanical properties of a certain type, but the costs can be quite high and not entirely necessary (a prototype titanium frame may not really be necessary if it's to make sure they're comfortable)

As you will have understood, I cheer for the third option: 3D printing in plastic part, resin, poor plastics or even metal powders.

Less waste of chip removal, lower costs, and in many cases greater speed and flexibility.

The advancement of technology has allowed the creation of new forms of production, which are increasing faster, practical, and economic. In this way, society is moving towards technological development and expansion of production processes, which results in gains in social terms.

One of the markets that expanded the most was that of 3D plastic prototype, which consists of prototyping materials in three-dimensional forms, with reduced costs, labor, and materials.

The technique is widely used in the automotive and aerospace sectors, with the manufacture of parts and components. But also, this plastic prototype 3D printing is seen for printing prostheses and making materials for everyday use, such as decorative objects and household items.

Additive process in rapid injection molding prototyping

3D printing in industry or in the open mass market reduces material consumption and working time through rapid prototype. Using 3D technologies for rapid prototyping results in enormous time savings. This is due to the fact that additive processes that rely on build-up and layer-by-layer production are used.

This way of working, in contrast to conventional formative or subtractive manufacturing (e.g. vacuum casting or CNC machining), allows a multiple of material to be saved.

How to make a plastic mold prototype?

Plastic prototypes by prototype mold

There are two different types of prototyping your plastic parts. Prototype molds and 3D printing are the two plastic prototyping solutions available to you. Our company then offers you the most suitable solution for your project.

The manufacture of plastic part prototyping by prototype injection mold is the service we offer you in our high-pressure factory. Indeed, these are the tools adapted for the large quantity production of your plastic prototypes. The plastic production series produced is considered to be sample parts, but they can also be put directly on the market after validation of the product.

The sample production material is the same as that of the final production, which gives a great advantage with the use of the prototype mold. This kind of mold saves you a preliminary sampling before final production.

The creation time of the prototype mold is quite long, due to its material of realization which is steel or aluminum. Moreover, it finds its value through its performance and its long duration of use. It does not leave enough options for modifications if necessary, on the other hand, it has a large production capacity for plastic prototyping.

Plastic prototypes by 3D printing

The 3D mold, like the plastic prototype mold, has enormous advantages in the production of a prototype of plastic mechanical parts. Its advantages lie more at the budgetary level. Indeed, the cost of manufacturing plastic prototyping by 3D printing is average expensive.

If you have a limited budget, this choice is a good opportunity for the realization of your project. The manufacturing time is quite short, the manufacturing period only lasts a few hours for most of the time, hence the speed of the plastic prototyping procedure.

This method also leaves enough options for use in the procedure for carrying out your project. Indeed, a remark perceived negative in the realization of the plastic prototyping can be corrected before the final production.

What is fused Deposition?

3D printing by fused deposition modeling is better known under the name of FDM or Fused Deposition Modeling. It is also found under the name FFF.

After stereolithography (SLA)which uses a laser or light to transform a liquid resin, the Fused Deposition Process (FDM-FFF) is the oldest technique. It has been popularized in particular by the development of low-cost office printers for professionals and individuals, but also by its open-source accessibility on the Internet.

Plastic prototype injection molding! The right toolmaking for the right quantity

The injection proto mold process is a true all-rounder: Whether components for the automotive industry, housing parts for household appliances or medical technology –

serial production can no longer be imagined without injection protomolds because it combines extreme process stability with an enormous variety of materials and the advantage that the molded parts can be used immediately without further processing can. For this reason, complex component geometries can also be manufactured very inexpensively.

Due to the comparatively high investment costs in the manufacture of the aluminum and steel tools used, injection molding does not come to mind when it comes to the production of prototypes and small series.

Decision factor time

Anyone who wants to lead a product idea to large-scale production in the foreseeable future is in an ambivalent situation: On the one hand, the design must be implemented as soon as possible in order to demonstrate market presence; on the other hand, hastily made decisions in the area of tool construction sometimes increase project costs and project times. Not an easy situation.

The rapid injection molding process can be the solution for low volume manufacturing. With the most modern technologies and automated production methods, shaping tool inserts and components can be manufactured.

An optimized tool concept with existing master molds, exchangeable mold inserts, and manually operated mold cores enables considerable savings potential in terms of production time.

In the shortest possible time, injection molding prototypes can be manufactured from original materials precisely, quickly, and inexpensively and it also enables pre-series production to be covered at a stage in which the large-scale tool is sometimes still in development.

But not only that, the experience gained from pre-series production for process and production optimization can also be used for large-scale production, which ensures that investment decisions are made with the best of knowledge.

How does the plastic 3D printing technique work?

Plastic 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology that uses a three-dimensional mathematical model. With the technique, it is possible to print items in PLA thermoplastic, PETG thermoplastic, ABS thermoplastic and TPE elastomer, on 3D printers that work with the FDM or FFF process. Among the main advantages of 3D plastic prototype printing or additive manufacturing, we can mention:

• Manufacture of high-quality products, with excellent durability and resistance;

• Possibility of using different materials and colors;

• Plastic 3D printing allows the manufacture of customized products, according to the needs of each client;

• Possibility of evaluating projects to be mass-produced;

• The thermoplastics used in 3D plastic parts printing do not deform over time.

Injection Molding Prototype

Injection molding prototyping is something that a lot of people are looking for. 3D printing in SP and region is one of UP3D's specialties.

Not every printed part has the physical structure of an injected part. However, taking a 3D prototype can be useful, either to promote a concept close to the final model or to replace parts. Everything will depend on the resolution and solution you are looking for your injection prototype.

The main advantage of injection is the unit cost of each part versus its speed of manufacture. 3D printing offers the possibility to create unique models for each new printing. The prototyping injection and new parts are the great current market demand.

To meet this demand, more and more technologies such as the 3D printer are gaining popularity. This is because injection molding prototyping and other techniques meet varied demands. There are users who need a single part and therefore choose prototyping.

Frequently Asked Questions about Plastic for Rapid Prototyping

How to speed up the production process?

Rapid prototyping in 3D printing: the fastest and cheapest way to produce prototypes!

You can accelerate product development and get from the idea to the finished model quickly with professional plastic parts rapid prototype company. Fast model making is used to shorten product development cycles, test preliminary results or visualize initial ideas. Rapid prototyping also helps to give customers more security for the transition to series production.

Additive manufacturing enables realistic, precise prototypes in a material suitable for series production!

These help in the early stages of product development in order to be able to produce functional models quickly and economically. This makes it possible to significantly shorten the time-to-market.

How can I improve my Prototype?

Thanks to the prototype process, you can get a replacement or component much faster than with traditional manufacturing processes. You can also save money, for example when choosing an alternative material.

How much should a prototype cost?

The cost of a 3D model depends on various factors:

3D printing

• the size of the object to be made.

• the cubic cm developed by the object

• if the object can be printed in one piece or must be assembled after printing

• the type of surface finish required, i.e. if you want to paint or other finish

• the technology used, which will be chosen based on the characteristics of the 3d model to be printed

• if the purpose of the model to be made is for aesthetic use or must be functional.

• the characteristics required for the material, i.e. flexible, resistant, transparent, translucent, detailed, waterproof etc.

Numerical control cutter (CNC Machining)

• dimensions of the object to be milled, in proportion to the 3D print very large objects, cost less in the cutter than 3D printed

• machine-hours, i.e. the time that the machine takes to make the object

• the complexity of the object, or what kind of processing it needs, whether it is a one-sided or two-sided or four-sided processing

• the quality of the milled surface, the tool removes material from a solid, the closer the passages are, the more uniform the surface, the more machine hours

• the material used, each material has a different cost, harder materials need more hours of processing

The product development process has changed dramatically over the years and is partly responsible for today's products being developed and launched on the market so quickly.

• Cost reduction and product development time by avoiding recurrent testing of physical prototypes and improving quality

• Design decision making taking into account its impact on functional performance and manufacturing

• Balancing different functional aspects during the development of the project concept

• Cost savings and increased design efficiency by removing unnecessary material and weight

• Providing performance and manufacturing insights early in the process

• Leverage detailed and specific attribute models for product validation and refinement

• Providing results through simulation models that are difficult or even impossible to measure in physical prototypes

How do you test a new product on the market?

90% of new products placed on the market are withdrawn after a very short time because they turn out to be unprofitable, that is, they turn out to be a wrong investment.

If we consider the world of startups, companies that are born precisely to bring something new to the market, it means that 9 out of 10 companies simply fail together with their product

With a good test you can in fact verify:

• Why your customers are buying your product (remember we are talking about real selling, there must be real money on the table)

• What changes are necessary for full customer satisfaction

• What are the characteristics of your product that attract him the most?

• What are the characteristics that attract him the least?

• Because other potential customers don't buy it

• What are the real competitors (especially if we talk about new products, the competitors are in sectors other than your specific sector)?

• What are the times and ways needed to be on the market and make sales?

• What are the main objections?

• What the process of selling your new product should be

• Where the product sells best

What are the costs involved in market testing?

In a market test, the intended marketing measures (e.g. alternative prices, alternative sales promotion measures, product placement) are checked for their effectiveness and their market chances for a market launch as part of a trial sale of new or varied/modified products in a geographically defined market.

If a new product is ready for sale, a market test is carried out on a test market. The aim is to find out how the product is »received« and which measures are still to be taken within the framework of the sales policy instruments (sales) in order to introduce the product to the entire market.

The market test is the trial sale of products under controlled conditions in a limited market using selected or all marketing instruments with the aim of gathering general experience or projectable numerical values about the marketability of a new product and the effectiveness of individual marketing measures.

Objectives of the market test:

• Determination of the reaction of potential buyers to the new product under regular market conditions

• Assessment of the actual success potential of the new product

Operation Area

• Third phase of test execution before the planned market launch


• Sufficiently large distribution of the new product

• Sufficiently high level of awareness of the new product

• Knowledge of customer behavior in the test market over a longer period of time

• Representativeness of the test market in order to achieve useful results

But is it really so important to carry out market research when drafting a startup business plan?

Is it not possible to postpone this operation to a later time?

The answer is no: market research is a necessary piece not only to set up an effective marketing campaign but also to be able to evaluate the chances of success of a startup in an overall way.

It is impossible to draw up a complete business plan if you neglect the necessary market research: moreover, it must be considered that no serious investor would consider a startup that has no idea which market it will enter and which customers will be interested in the product or service. .

Carrying out in-depth market research to be included in the business plan should be considered a real necessity, without which it becomes much riskier (than it already is) to start the activity of a startup: it is important to put market research in the right perspective, not considering it a cost for the startup, but a real investment.

Research allows you to evaluate whether it actually makes sense for a startup to try to enter a certain market and possibly which course corrections may be necessary: if you want to save on market research, you risk paying a much higher price later on.

How Do I test my Product Idea?

An entrepreneur is always busy carrying out his own activities and therefore has limited time to devote to developing new businesses. A good entrepreneur turns out to be a good entrepreneur when he hits a new business idea.

This is possible when making products or services required by the market.

How can a market be evaluated? How to know if a product is attractive on the market? How to know if it will work? One answer can be the TEST LAUNCH.

Instead of starting the entire production chain, or carrying out an expensive market survey, it is possible to have a response from and from the market with a Launch Test that examines the business idea directly on a sample of the interested target.

Many startups when they want to attract investors to adopt techniques very similar to the one described above. After an idea has been tested and has received market approval, the results are brought to investors who, given the facts, decide whether to invest or not.

An entrepreneur who wants to test a market or a product can invest in a LAUNCH TEST obtaining real feedback from the market and evaluate whether to start a new business reducing the chances of failure.

Don't be discouraged if the test fails: your idea can be improved based on the suggestions received. In this way, the product/service can be optimized and made more corresponding to customer needs.

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